Background: A complete neurological exam contributes in establishing spinal cord injury
severity and its extent by identifying the damage to the sensory and motor pathways involved in order to
address a more case-specific and precise pharmacological therapy. However, assessment of neurologic
function in spinal cord injury models is usually reported by using sensory or motor tests independently.
Methods: A reliable integral method is needed to precisely evaluate location and severity of the injury
at baseline and, in further assessments, to establish the degree of spontaneous recovery. A combination
of sensation-based tests and motor-based tests was used to evaluate impaired neurologic function after
spinal cord injury and the degree of spontaneous recovery, in different stages, on an in vivo model.
Results: Combined neurologic evaluation was useful to establish location and severity of the injury in
all animals and also to detect degrees of spontaneous recovery at different stages after the injury. Comparisons
of neurological function were assessed in time-days and groups between BBB motor score, latency
maintenance of posture, locomotion and latency presentation of grooming before and after the injury.
Our results suggest that a combined assessment strategy, including sensory and motor tests, can
lead to better evaluation of spinal cord injury severity and location, and documentation of the extent of
spontaneous recovery following SCI and identify specific motor and sensory pathway integrity.
Conclusion: In conclusion, a combined assessment strategy provides a concise method for evaluating
the impact of interventions in experimental models of SCI.